Top critical review
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Good, if this is your first reading on the subject
on August 9, 2014
The author explains many topics that fool our intuition, mainly when it comes to probability. The bulk of the book is composed by examples illustrating these fallacies, and how these misinterpretations can lead to drastic consequences. As a person with modest training in mathematics, I can state that the book is easy to follow and the examples exposed are relevant even for the non-mathematician.
I have previously read "The Drunkard's Walk" by Mlodinow, which treats about the same topic. Many of the examples are the same, and even the same studies by Kahneman and Tversky are referenced. To me, another advatage of Mlodinow's book is the short biographies of great mathematicians permeating the text. I consider Mlodinow a much more engaging writer, so if you plan to read only one book about this topic, I suggest you choose Mldinow's book.
Although "Innumeracy" is an excellent book on the mathematical side, there are two things that annoyed me during the reading:
1) The author uses a tone like "we, mathematicians, the superior human beings". I don't like this distinction, as I belive any human being, "Innumerate" or not, has a specific set of relevant abilites, all of them being equally important. Every time that I read a passage talking about people without mathematical training, it sounded demeaning and I felt a little uncomfortable.
2) From the first line to the last, the author uses a bitter tone, almost as if he is angry, or trying to prove something to somebody.
Of course, both of my negative remarks deal with the author's writing style. If these points don't bother you at all, I'll definitely recommend this book (after Mlodinow's) because of its content.